Canine Cough (or Kennel Cough as it was previously known) is a highly contagious disease that usually infects dogs in areas where they socialise, such as parks, obedience classes, dog shows and kennels. With families having more time at home, more dogs are out and about getting walks in towns and local parks. Unfortunately, our canine companions don’t do social distancing very well, so even a walk down the road poses a risk.
What causes Canine Cough?
This disease is primarily caused by two organisms, Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza virus. Various other viruses and bacteria may also be involved and are spread in the air by infected dogs sneezing and coughing. These infectious organisms damage and cause irritation to the lining of the windpipe which leads to inflamed and irritated airways causing your dog to cough.
What are the Symptoms of Canine Cough?
The classical symptom of Canine Cough is a harsh hacking cough that often finishes with gagging or wretching. The coughing is usually made worse by exercise, excitement or pressure on the throat region. Severely affected dogs may also have fever, lethargy and reduced appetite. Coughing may last for many weeks or months despite treatment and it is highly contagious. In rare cases, this can progress to pneumonia.
What should I do if I think my dog has Kennel Cough?
Ring us on 071-9631043 to make an appointment to see one of our vets. In the meantime, let your pet rest and keep him/her separated from other dogs in the household. There are many causes of coughing in dogs, but we will need to examine your pet thoroughly in order to diagnose this disease.
There is no specific treatment for viruses involved in kennel cough but antibiotics may be used to treat bacterial infections. Other supportive treatments such as anti-inflammatories and cough suppressants may be used depending on the individual case. Our vets will be able to advise you on the best treatment.
How can I protect my dog from Canine Cough?
To protect your pet against Canine Cough, they should be vaccinated against the important causative organisms of Canine Cough.
Vaccination against Canine Cough can begin as young as 3 weeks of age. We usually give this vaccine at the time of your puppy’s primary vaccination course or annual booster vaccination. Full immunity takes 3 weeks to develop. For emergency kennelling, your dog should have the intranasal vaccine at least 72 hours prior to give partial protection. Adult dogs should receive boosters for Canine Cough annually.
So if you and your canine companion are enjoying time in parks, on walks or if you plan on putting your pet into boarding facilities, please remember …